Prestigious National Award Goes to D.C. Librarian

The prestigious Carnegie Corporation of New York and New York Times "I Love My Librarian" award goes to D.C. public librarian Venetia V. Demson.  Demson is one of 10 librarians in the country and the first in this region to receive this annual award.

As head of the DC Public Library’s Adaptive Services Division, which assists the deaf and visually impaired communities access library services, Demson has spearheaded such signature programs as the Braille Book Club and American Sign Language classes.  Additionally, Demson's area uses adaptive technologies to assist library users in independently locating and using library resources.  Demson's nominator describes her work as, "What a library should be – a safe haven for all and a portal to the resources we all need to enrich our lives."

Forty librarians nationwide have won the I Love My Librarian award since 2008.  Each honoree was recognized at a ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times. 

“Venetia brings an unparalleled passion to her work as an advocate and as a librarian,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the District of Columbia.  “Because of her leadership, the DC Public Library is a model for serving deaf, visually impaired, and physically disabled users.  We are very proud to have her as a colleague.”

This year’s winners include an innovator who integrates technology throughout her school for improved collaboration among students and teachers, and a business outreach librarian who creates a space for the unemployed and local business community to learn new skills, network and collaborate.

Nominations were open to librarians working in public, school, college, community college and university libraries. The award is a collaborative program of Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Times and the American Library Association More information about the award recipients is available at www.atyourlibrary.org/ilovemylibrarian.

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Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic foundation created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to do "real and permanent good in this world."

The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2010 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, BostonGlobe.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 62,000 members.  Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.  The ALA administered the award through the Campaign for America’s Libraries, its public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians.